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EU leaders urge Egypt to seek peaceful resolution

01.02.2011 3208

Almaty. February 1. Kazakhstan Today - The European Union foreign ministers held a meeting on Monday in Brussels where the European leaders urged Egypt to seek a peaceful resolution to the crisis and avoid further violence against protesters, the agency reports.

European Union foreign ministers tackled two Arab hotspots, Egypt and Tunisia, during a meeting in Brussels. In a statement to reporters, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton urged Egyptian authorities to immediately release all peaceful demonstrators in detention, Voice of America reported.

She also stressed the importance of democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

"We believe these must be respected by the Egyptian authorities and the legitimate grievances of the Egyptian people should be responded to," Ashton said. "Their aspirations for a just, for a better future should be met, with urgent, concrete and decisive answer and with real steps."

The appeal came as Egypt was swept by more protests, with opposition groups calling for a million demonstrators to return to the streets of Cairo.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Mubarak in a phone call on Sunday that she expects him and his newly nominated government to grant freedom of information and the right to assemble, government spokesman Steffen Seibert said in a statement, Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review reported.

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon, also speaking Sunday at the African Union's summit in Addis Ababa, called on the Egyptian government to respect fundamental freedoms and human rights.

The 27-member European Union has longstanding ties with Egypt and the bloc has refrained from strongly criticizing the government of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

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